What Are Soft Starters?
Most of the appliances in our homes and industries have inbuilt motors. These help in the smooth functioning and mainly starting up of an appliance. Yet there are times when the traditional route of starting the motor fails to do its job. In such cases, you will need an alternative for all your essential appliances. Soft starters offer this alternative.
Soft starters are additional or secondary devices that are attached to electric motors. These soft starters lend an alternative startup method for the motor and thus reduce the strain that is a result of the default power-up phase.
How Do Soft Starters Work?
The soft starter works by gradually increasing the voltage in the motor. This slow acceleration ensures the motor does not get damaged by a sudden jolt of electricity. This feature is absent in typical startup devices, which then exposes the motor to more damage.
Soft starters usually come in varied types, with some having the capacity to regular the starting voltage and time duration until the motor is ready to be used.
The soft starter controls the functioning of the motor by controlling the amount of voltage running through the circuits.
Where Are Soft Starters Most Commonly Used?
“Do I need a soft starter?” This is probably the very first question that pops into your head as you learn more about soft starters. The answer is that, while it’s not necessary for motors to have soft starters, it does elevate the overall functioning of the motor.
Certain motors will specifically benefit from the use of soft starters since they are more prone to breakdowns and are often exposed to large surges of electrical current.
Let’s learn more about motor types that can benefit from Soft Starters.
- Pump Applications – Pump applications are often classified as high-risk applications since they are susceptible to power surges. So installing soft starters can greatly improve the longevity of pump applications and reduce risk.
- Conveyor Belts – We have all seen conveyer belts in malls, manufacturing units, and airports. These belts are often in an ‘off’ state and are then started. This sudden start can often cause problems in conveyor belts, causing them to become damaged. On installation of a soft starter, the conveyer belt will start gradually and stay on its track.
- Fans and Similar Systems – Fans and systems with belt drives work on a mechanism that is similar to conveyor belts. These often start with a jerky motion which can be reduced with the help of a soft starter.
- Electrical Helicopters – Most people wouldn’t associate the use of soft starters with helicopters. But these are essential since sudden starts can cause the propellers to malfunction. The smooth and gradual start of a helicopter that we usually see is all thanks to soft starters.
Advantages of Using Soft Starters
Now that we have seen where self-starters are used, we will see the many advantages of soft starters that make them popular.
- Energy Efficient – Traditional startup methods of motors usually consume more energy. This is because the machine powers up with the maximum capacity. When soft starters are used, the voltage is regulated, and the device is gradually powered up – this reduces the energy pulled by the motor.
- Safety of Appliances – When a high surge of power passes through the motor, there is always a chance that the circuit’s capacity may be exceeded. This can lead to power surges and can damage the equipment. When soft starters are installed, they regulate the voltage and hence protect the device.
- Time To Start – Modular soft starters are equipped with the option of timing the complete start of the motor. So, you can choose and control how long your motor needs before powering up. This regulation is especially helpful if you are using older motors, whose acceleration capacity may be minimized.
- Minimizing Overheating – A power surge can cause your motor to overheat. While overheating by itself can be harmless, prolonged overheating can cause temporary shutdowns and, in some cases, permanent damage to the motor. The use of a soft starter, reduces the energy flowing into the motor at any given time.
Schneider Electric – Offering High-Quality Soft Starters
Schneider Electric has carved a name for itself in the world of electrical accessories. This global brand is a household name and one that is known for its quality.
This is true for its wide range of soft starters. Schneider Electric offers soft starters, variable speed drives, and more voltage regulation devices that safeguard and optimize your equipment. Investing in the right soft starter is an important decision since it determines the longevity of the motor.
With Schneider Electric you can be assured that any soft starter you buy will be of high quality and offer value to your devices.